the ultimate food high
– Alyson Weber
Syracuse is known for being cold. This isn’t news to anyone. After long days of trekking around through a cold blizzard, all I want is a cup of hot chocolate. I wondered one day, which place serves the perfect cup of hot cocoa? This past week I decided to go on a quest to find the best hot chocolate on Marshall Street. While the experience was enjoyable, it truly tested my stomach’s limits for how much dairy I could handle. I tried hot chocolates from five different places and rated them based on flavor, sweetness, authentic-ness, and other various miscellaneous qualities one would look for in a cup of hot chocolate.
My first cup of hot chocolate was from the one and only Starbucks. Warning: I am going to roast Starbucks right now, so I apologize to the hardcore Starbucks fans out there. The hot chocolate was not good at all. It leaves you with a fake powder feeling in your mouth. It almost tastes like the bland and flavorless hot cocoa you get at an ice rink. The one thing I will give props to Starbucks for was the fact that it wasn’t too sweet. You could tell that Starbucks was going for a dark chocolate flavor, which I appreciate. All in all, I would stick to coffee at Starbucks and venture elsewhere for my hot chocolate.
The ultimate rivalry amongst all college students: Starbucks vs. Dunkin’ Donuts. I am no expert on what each of their cups of coffee taste like, but I can objectively say that the hot chocolate from Dunkin’ is better. Even though both hot chocolates were watery, the hot cocoa from Dunkin’ has a much richer chocolate flavor than Starbucks. My main problem with the hot chocolate from Dunkin’ was that it was overwhelmingly sweet. Sure, it made it addicting to keep drinking, but it left me with an uneasy sugar buzz in my stomach afterwards.
Unfortunately, the Funk n Waffles on Marshall Street is closing soon but you can still go to the one in Armory Square for some delicious treats. Let me tell you though, this hot chocolate was nothing special. The whipped cream on top was nice (the reason for the .5 extra added), but it wasn’t enough to make me fall head over heels for this hot cocoa. It wasn’t bad, don’t get me wrong, it just wasn’t something I would rave on and on about. I think when I tried this hot chocolate I was just getting to the point where my body was sick of it, so I was extra critical. On a normal day, I’m sure this is a solid and dependable hot chocolate.
I have to admit the cocoa powder dusting on top was very aesthetically pleasing. 10/10 presentation for sure. Out of all the hot chocolates I had tasted thus far it was the most authentic. I also enjoyed the foam on top; it was a nice addition. I felt extremely satisfied after finishing this cup of hot chocolate. The cocoa flavors were nice and balanced, and each sip felt like a warm hug on my throat. I highly recommend hitting up Kubal for a great cup of hot chocolate along with a large slice of their heavenly banana bread. My only problem with this drink was that it was too hot initially and I had to wait a while before I could drink it.
Finally, we have homemade hot chocolate. My friend, Chloie, brought some over to my dorm after she heard me talking about my hot chocolate quest. She told me that her aunt sent her a homemade hot chocolate mix that was to die for. All I can say is WOW. I was so impressed with this hot chocolate. It was sweet, but the right amount of sweet, and had a unique depth of nutty flavor. After taking a few sips of this glorious hot chocolate, I realized that it tasted exactly like an Insomnia chocolate chip cookie. What could be better?
On this exciting journey, I realized two things: homemade hot chocolate is the best, and I’m never going to drink five cups of hot chocolate over the course of three days ever again.